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Information for the Huron Community

Covid-19 Screening

This webpage is intended to provide the Huron Community with linkages to information regarding and updates from Western University, the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the Ontario Ministry of Health regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).

COVID-19 Updates

Updated: June 29, 2022

Huron University continues to be committed to creating a safe, welcoming, learning environment on campus.

As of June 29, 2022, Huron will no longer be requiring masking on campus. Our mandatory vaccination policy remains in effect for staff, students, faculty and visitors. More information about vaccination requirements for Fall 2022 will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Anyone coming to campus is required to complete the Ontario COVID-19 Screening and Questionnaire prior to arrival.

Any students with questions may contact vaccine@huron.uwo.ca. Staff and faculty are encouraged to reach out to HR at huronhr@huron.uwo.ca.

Vaccination Policy

Why are we requiring COVID-19 vaccinations?

Huron always has and will continue to prioritize the health of our community. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome at Huron. Effective September 7, 2021, vaccination is currently required for all staff, students, faculty and visitors to campus in accordance with our vaccination policy. This policy remains in place for the Spring and Summer semesters. Further information about the Fall semester will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Will vaccines be required for those living in residence?

Yes – in order to live in residence, students will need to provide proof of full vaccination status. If you are a student applying to live in residence in September 2022, please contact housing@huron.uwo.ca for more information.

Where and how do I get vaccinated or tested?

Western has an on-campus vaccination and testing centre. It is now open in the Graphic Services Building. Any registered student or current employee with an active Western username and password can book a test or a vaccine appointment using the online booking tools. Some walk-in appointments are available. Pre-booking guarantees you a spot, pending vaccine availability.

Which vaccines are approved?

Vaccines approved by Health Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO) will be recognized under current provincial guidance.

Are there exemptions?

Any individual who cannot be vaccinated on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code can request an exemption. Those who remain unvaccinated must be tested twice a week.

Exemption requests can be made using the following fillable forms:

Students can send their completed forms to vaxinfo@uwo.ca. Employees should submit completed forms to takecare@uwo.ca.

What happens if I refuse to get vaccinated and my presence is still required on campus?

Everyone attending campus must provide proof of vaccination or have an exemption, and those with an exemption must be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly. Testing in lieu of vaccination is now only available to those with a medical or Ontario Human Rights Code exemption.

Individuals who have not provided proof of vaccination and have not received an exemption will not be permitted on campus.

If I receive an exemption, do I still need to get tested twice a week?

Yes – those who are unvaccinated must be tested twice a week.

What type of testing is required if I am not vaccinated?

The testing required is a Rapid Antigen Test. This test is not as invasive as the diagnostic PCR Test and only requires a nasal swab (2 cm). This testing needs to be done twice a week regardless of how often you are on campus on a weekly basis.

Western’s on-campus vaccination and testing centre is now open in the Graphics Services Building. You can book a testing appointment at Book Your Appointment – COVID-19 Testing on campus – Western University (uwo.ca).

Am I responsible for paying for testing twice weekly?

No. There is no cost to students and employees for testing. Western’s on-campus Vaccination and Testing Centre offers both COVID-19 Rapid Tests and COVID-19 PCR Tests at no cost to all Western students, employees, and alumni.

Who do I contact for more information or if I have concerns?

Staff and faculty are encouraged to reach out to huronhr@huron.uwo.ca with questions, concerns, or for support.

Students can direct questions to vaccine@huron.uwo.ca

Mental health supports are available for students and employees. Please reach out if you require additional assistance.

How will my information be safe-guarded?

Health information will be secure and will be kept confidentially by Western University with highly limited access. Aggregate data will be used to provide information on overall trends.

Will visitors to campus need to be vaccinated?

Visitors will be welcomed at Huron, however, in accordance with our vaccination policy, they will need to be vaccinated. Huron’s full visitor policy can be viewed here.

All visitors accessing campus and interacting with community members must show proof of vaccination or approved medical accommodation. It is the responsibility of the Huron representative signing in the visitor(s) to verify their information through a jotform.

COVID Protocols

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

All students, staff, and faculty are required to report a positive test result immediately. Do not come to campus and follow the public health guidelines. If you are a student in residence, isolate in your room immediately.

  • Staff and faculty should report to their leader or Human Resources
  • Students in residence should report to either of the Residence Life Managers or the AVP, Student Engagement
  • Students should report to the Registrar’s Office for accommodation purposes
What should a colleague do if a Huron Faculty/Staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

The impact of a positive test will need to be determined case-by-case and will follow provincial health guidelines.

If a student, faculty, or staff member is identified as close contact, then the recommendation of public health is that they be tested.

Currently, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to isolate if asymptomatic. Those that are not fully vaccinated are still required to isolate for 14 days.

It is important to complete the daily COVID Screening tool as required by Public Health as it also allows for contact tracing to occur.

How will students be accommodated should they test positive for COVID-19?

Prolonged student absence for any reason will be handled by academic advisors who will work with the student directly to determine accommodation.

How will staff/faculty be accommodated should they test positive for COVID-19?

All department chairs have been asked to consider contingency plans in the event that a faculty member is required to isolate or becomes ill with COVID. Specific plans and coverage will be determined on a case-by-case basis as each situation will have different variables and factors to consider.

If a staff member is feeling well enough to continue to work during an isolation period or if positive for COVID but asymptomatic, they could discuss the option of working from home with their leader. This will not be a requirement but simply offered as an option.

Where applicable, staff and faculty can utilize sick days if required to isolate.

What happens if a family member is required to isolate due to a high-risk exposure?

If a family member is considered a close contact and is not showing symptoms, then a faculty or staff member will need to follow the public health guidelines based on vaccination status. Currently, fully vaccinated family members of asymptomatic individuals are not required to self-isolate.

If the family member is symptomatic and tests positive for COVID, then public health will provide further guidelines for the rest of the household.

Huron will follow our regular policies if a faculty or staff member is unable to attend work due to family responsibilities.

What provisions will be in place for faculty/students who are immuno-compromised?

In addition to our mandatory vaccination policy, masking, hand washing, and daily screening will still be required for everyone coming to campus. As well, Huron has voluntary rapid testing as an additional health and safety measure that is available.

If someone has health concerns they are encouraged to address their individual concerns with HR for further review.

What is Huron doing about air quality around campus?

Huron’s HVAC system upgrades have been a major focus of the summer project execution. Preventative Maintenance is completed proactively on all systems.  System filters are being upgraded to MERV13 or highest existing equipment will support.  This is to help filter incoming and recirculated air within the systems.

Since March 2020, 11 major pieces of HVAC equipment have been installed to replaced aged or poorly functioning systems:

  • West Wing – 2 units complete, 4 in progress in August
  • Kingsmill Room
  • Library Reading Room/Stacks
  • Library Commons
  • Valley Wing – 1 in progress in August
  • O’Neil Ridley – new chiller for A/C
How will I know if things change as the year progresses?

We have all experienced how dynamic and rapidly changing the conditions have been when it comes to COVID and decision-making related to the pandemic. We expect the next few months will follow a similar pattern, with new decisions and information coming from the government that may impact our decisions as an institution. Timely and accurate information will be provided through a number of channels, including via regular statements from our President, Dr. Barry Craig, updates to FAQs on our website, emails to incoming and returning students, and social media announcements.